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The Parke County Covered Bridge Festivalâ„¢ on October 11th-20th, 2019

Parke County Courthouse

Parke County Courthouse

Cost: $79,000.00
Constructed: 1879 - 1882

"Original plans (for the courthouse) called for 'red pressed brick with white limestone trim.' Before the foundation was finished, the contractor agreed to substitute stone for the red brick at no increase in cost. What the edifice would look like in red brick defies imagination, but whoever persuaded the commissioners the change deserves an unqualified blessing."

"In 1880, with the courthouse about half built, the contractor (from Ft. Wayne) failed. Two new commissioners "had been strongly and volubly opposed to the courthouse project and there was a flurry speculation ... they would refuse to continue with it. They did the logical and rational thing. On March 26, 1880, they appointed Isaac McFaddin superintendent of construction."

"There were several master carpenters in the county and to all those men go the credit for the walnut woodwork that makes this county building as beautiful on the inside as the outside. The massive doors at all 4 entrances are works of art and all interior woodwork is comparable. Had the contractor not failed, the courthouse would not have had such painstaking workmanship."

(Old newspaper clippings reported that "local workmen, notably the Patton brothers," were hired to do the carpentry work. "Their fine workmanship remains the admiration of all who note the beautiful black walnut door and window frames that grace the building.")

"The last cry from the opposition (to the construction of the courthouse) was an accusation of graft. This is usual in connection with any public construction and is all to often justified. In this case the public was invited to scrutinize all contracts and accounts."

"Efforts have been made twice to surface the south lawn for a parking lot. The first time a petition of remonstrance reached the commissioners before the advocates made application. The next time, the project was not publicized and the advocates thought it was assured, but they reckoned too soon. When the women of Rockville learned of the plan, they stormed into the courthouse and the commissioners were swamped in the corridors."

"Like all lawns, (the courthouse lawn) was surrounded by fence for many years. About 1920, it became unstylish and was removed. It was of black ornamental iron."